Governments intervene against the religious wishes of Jehovah's Witness families to give blood transfusions to save the lives of their kin. The Quebec government wants to intervene to deny health care to women whose religious wish is to wear the niqab.
In Saudi Arabia, Iran and parts of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, police or vigilante militias crack down on women not wearing the niqab or the burqa. In Quebec, authorities want to crack down on women who do.
Quebec officials have already chased down one niqab-wearing woman to oust her from a second French language class after she had been hounded out of her first. The bureaucrats are emulating the gendarmes of autocrats Kemal Ataturk of Turkey in the 1920s and the first Shah of Iran in the 1930s who persecuted women wearing either the niqab or the hijab.
It is scary when a state feels compelled to keep women either covered or uncovered.Nice try, Harpoon. Actually, the Quebecois have no problem with women wearing a head scarf (and nowhere in the Koran does it specify that a face mask/full body shroud is a requirement for female "modesty"). It's only the niqab/burqa that is viewed as, dare a mere infidel say it?, self-separating and anti-social. In Saudi Arabia, the burqa connotes how the wacky Wahhabis view women---as a nullity, a blankness, a void. In Quebec and the rest of Dar al Harb, however, where women do not live and die under the depredations of sharia law, the burqa has another meaning. It is, I think, rather like the apparal equivalent of a minaret--an in-your-face-kafir display of Islamic power. Thus, banning the burqa is the opposite of "scary". It represents freedom--for women and for the West.